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| 14 November, 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Dubai marginally higher in early trade

The Saudi index was up 0.2% after 55 minutes of trade.

DUBAI - Most Gulf stock markets were little changed in early trade on Tuesday as Saudi Arabia inched up, suggesting pressure from the kingdom's anti-corruption drive was easing.

The Saudi index was up 0.2 percent after 55 minutes of trade. In previous days, the index fell steeply in early trade as individual investors sold in response to the investigation, before buying by state-linked funds lifted the market towards the close.

The change in Tuesday's pattern suggested some confidence was returning.

Petrochemical investor Alujain rebounded 2.6 percent after sinking 9.7 percent in its heaviest trade this year on Monday, when it resumed trading after being suspended since August because of a delay in reporting earnings.

Another petrochemical firm, Chemanol, jumped 9.3 percent in unusually heavy trade.

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In Dubai, the index rose 0.4 percent as the most heavily traded stock, GFH Financial, added 3.3 percent.

On Monday it had climbed 6.3 percent after saying it had exited real estate portfolios in Bahrain and the United States, would invest in the education sector, and planned to acquire a financial institution in the Gulf.

Dubai Investments, an affiliate of Dubai's sovereign wealth fund, gained 3.8 percent in unusually heavy trade. Union Properties edged down 0.4 percent after posting a third-quarter loss of 45 million dirhams ($12.3 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 32.3 million dirhams.

Qatar's index sank 0.5 percent. Real estate firm Ezdan Holding was the most heavily traded stock, edging up 0.3 percent. Late on Monday, Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating by two notches to BB, in junk territory, with a negative outlook.

The company has been hit by a downturn in Qatar's property market that has been worsened by sanctions imposed on Qatar by other Arab states. The stock has tumbled 47 percent this year.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by John Stonestreet) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 6681 7277)(Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))